£1 Billion extra funding for schools, where's it going?


The government has allocated another £1 billion to children, schools and families over the next three years.

While the plan does not have direct impact on the rest of the UK it is likely that it will lead to pressure for action in similar areas in Wales, Scotland and N Ireland – not least in its approach that states that the school should be the centre of the community

It is a huge package of measures, and difficult to make overall sense of. But Tony Attwood from Hamilton House has done his best.

Nothing explicitly mentions school councils, but I’ve italicized sections that I think we could have a particular input into – Asher

• £225m will be allocated over the next three years to build or upgrade more than 3,500 playgrounds and set up 30 new supervised adventure playgrounds, designed for the 8-13 age group, in deprived communities;

• £160m will be allocated to improve the quality and range of places for young people to go and things for them to do. This could mean either 50 new state-of-the-art youth centres could be built, or 500 refurbished, or alternatively 2000 smaller scale centres or mobile units. These centres will contain a range of positive activities for young people including sport, music, drama, art facilities etc;

• schools in the 21st century should be central to their communities, designed differently and encouraged to make more effective links with the NHS and other services. Child health services, social care, advice, welfare services and police will where possible be located on the same sites, making services more integrated and more convenient for children and their families;

• By 2020 at least 90% of children should be at or above expected levels in English and maths by age 11;

• every young person with the skills for adult life and further study, with at least 90% achieving the equivalent of five higher level GCSEs by age 19; and at least 70% achieving the equivalent of two A-levels by age 19;

Overall the government says….

Children should be happy, healthy and safe from harm: parents and children report that investing in activities, facilities and parks for children and young people was amongst the most important things Government could do to help them:

• a move away from the “No Ball Games” culture of the past so that public spaces in residential areas are more child friendly. Local authority planning guidance will help to prioritise ‘a world designed for the needs of young people’;

• encourage local authorities to create more 20mph speed limit zones, particularly around play parks. Road safety was amongst the top issues that parents say is important to them;

• all children, no matter where they live or their background, will have opportunities to get involved in high quality cultural activities in and out of school;

• £160m will be allocated to improve the quality and range of places for young people to go and things for them to do. This could mean either 50 new state-of-the-art youth centres could be built, or 500 refurbished, or alternatively 2000 smaller scale centres or mobile units. These centres will contain a range of positive activities for young people including sport, music, drama, art facilities etc;

• because mental wellbeing is crucial to child development, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services will be reviewed to identify whether specialist support services can be improved for the growing number of children and young people with mental health needs;

• an independent assessment will be commissioned to understand the impact of the commercial world on children’s wellbeing;

Continuing this theme, the government speaks of…

• ambitious changes to help parents stay in touch with teachers throughout their child’s school life, covering issues from progress in the classroom to behaviour, attendance and events in the school calendar. Examples include ensuring that parents are contacted by a staff member at school before their child starts at the school; personal tutors, who know the child in the round, will act as the main contact for parents; schools parents councils to ensure that parents’ preferences are heard;

• £30m will be spent to provide more family learning to help parents and carers develop skills and learn with their children in schools;

• because up to a fifth of families have children identified as having a special educational need, there will be a greater priority placed on raising expectations that these children will succeed and additional help for parents to be fully engaged in their education. The Children’s Plan contains a package of measures – costing £18m – to improve teacher training, enhance the role for school SEN co-ordinators and better data to identify whether SEN pupils are progressing. A key principle of the Children’s Plan is that intervening early and working in partnership with families should be the objective for schools and other agencies to support children. Ofsted will be asked to lead a full review into the quality of special education needs provision, to start in 2009;

• there will be a greater expectation that public services engage both the father and the mother in decisions about their child;

• the Government will embark on new work to look at how the system can better support parents and their children during and after family breakdown;


Creating world class schools for all: raising school standards will remain the number one priority for the DCSF. The Children’s Plan contains a number of measures that represent the next phase of the Government’s drive to create world class standards.

• building on the £144m already allocated to fund the Every Child A Reader and Every Child Counts programmes, £25m will be allocated to fund the Every Child A Writer scheme to offer intensive one-to-one coaching in areas of writing that children find hard to master;

• that children should be taught according to their “stage not age”, including expanding the “testing when ready” assessment method nationally. Whilst national testing will remain, this could lead to an end to the key stage tests in 2009 but only if the pilot sites have proven to work and the system has been rigorously evaluated;

• £18m will be invested to provide additional support for specific groups of children with special educational needs and disabilities;

• to ensure the steps to support special educational needs are working effectively, Ofsted will be asked to lead a full review into the quality of special education needs provision, to start in 2009;

• the Government will invest £26.5m on piloting new forms of teaching children that have been excluded from school, including piloting the concept of Studio Schools, which specialise in work-based learning and vocational training;

• schools in the 21st century should strive for educational excellence but should work in partnership with other agencies to actively contribute to all aspects of children’s lives such as health and wellbeing, safety and care. This will mean opening facilities to the wider community and where possible will mean children’s services such as health, child & adolescent mental health services, social care, welfare services, being based on school sites. Guidance will be published for Building Schools for the Future to ensure that schools are designed with other services co-located with them;

• an ambition that all new school buildings to be zero carbon by 2016.

The government will invest £117m in the early years’ workforce to fund:

• supply cover so early years workers can take part in continuing professional development;

• a boost to the Graduate Leader Fund so that every full daycare setting will be led by a graduate by 2015, with two graduates in deprived areas or where quality needs significant improvement;

To deliver a teaching workforce and a new generation of headteachers which is consistently world class the government will allocate £44m over the next three years to:

• make teaching a Masters-level profession, with all new teachers able to study for a Masters-level qualification through a focus on continued professional development;

• establish a Transition to Teaching programme to attract more people with science, technology and engineering backgrounds into teaching;

• extend the Future Leaders programme which places people with proven leadership credentials into urban schools


A package of measures to tackle risky behaviour: early teenage years and adolescence can expose young people to risks and where they fail to make informed or sensible choices, they can put their health and future at risk.

• a youth alcohol action plan will be published in the Spring 2008, around the same time as the new drugs strategy which will improve alcohol education in schools and consider the case for further action on alcohol advertising;

• review best practice in effective sex and relationship education and how it is delivered in schools;

• working with the Home Office, £66m to target those young people most at risk of offending;

• piloting a restorative approach to youth offenders;

• a Green Paper in Spring 2008 to look at what happens when young offenders leave custody on how to improve the education they receive in custody.

+ There are no comments

Add yours